A mother was ordered Thursday to spend 30 years behind bars for the murder of her 5-year-old son in a well-known case that went unsolved for more than two decades.
Michelle Lodzinski, 49, wiped away tears in a New Jersey courtroom as Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves admonished her behavior following the disappearance of little Timothy Wiltsey.
“You lied, you lied, you lied, you lied, you lied,” Nieves told the woman.
Lodzinski first told police her son had disappeared at a traveling carnival when she went to buy a soda. Later, she claimed he had been abducted.
His young face was one of the first to appear on milk cartons after he vanished on May 25, 1991.
His mother refused to address the court before her punishment was read.
Prosecutor Christine Bevacqua had argued for a life sentence. “A mother who kills her child should spend the rest of her life in prison,” she said.
Timmy’s skeletal remains were found in a marsh about one year after he went missing. Police suspected his mother, but had difficulty building a case, which consisted of circumstantial evidence. There were no witnesses to the killing.
Ultimately, a blanket found with the body was determined to have come from the boy’s home. "No other killer could get this," Bevacqua said in her opening statements last year.
She said Lodzinski killed Timmy because he was "a burden."
Lodzinski was arrested in 2014 at her Port St. Lucie home in Florida, where she lived with two teenage sons.
Her trial lasted eight weeks, but jurors debated for only four hours before finding her guilty of murder.